I'm awaiting delivery of RaspBerry PI2 and have created an SD card with Noobs by extracting :

Version:1.4.0 Release date:2015-02-18

from http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/

So top level SD card folder structure appears like :

enter image description here

Noobs apparently comes with software that I may not use. I just require ability to SSH (via putty) and upload files to PI using FTP. Also I will be installing java. So should I still use Noobs or use a custom installation ? I'm not too worried about wasted disk memory but I want to keep the 1GB of RAM as free as possible, so will some Noobs unused software waster RAM ?

Is there a more RaspBerry PI2 OS that I can use which just contains following :

Raspberry compatible UNIX
Ethernet access

Or should I just go with current version of Noobs as extra software installed RAM memory is minimal unless I use it ?

2 Answers 2


NOOBS installation requires a lot of time and you need to connect the RPI2 to a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Not to mention SSH is disabled by default and you have a lot of unwanted softwares pre-installed.

I would definitely advise you to go with the latest Raspbian image (Official download link). You can install it straight away to your SD card with a disk imaging software like Win32 Disk Imager. SSH is enabled by default and your new OS will be up and running in no time with no bloatware to hog up the RAM or other resources.

  • thank you, is latest Rasbian image also compatible with RPI1 Model B+ ?
    – blue-sky
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 13:41
  • Yes, current versions of Raspbian should run on any pi.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 13:42
  • 1
    Yes, +1 to the Raspberry Foundation for enabling backward-compatibility. Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 13:43
  • @goldilocks should I reformat the sdcard before writing the image or just delete the Noobs files from sdcard and then write the image ?
    – blue-sky
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 13:56
  • Always format the SD card before writing a new Image. It only takes less than 5 seconds last i checked. Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 14:01

will some Noobs unused software waste RAM ?

No, unused software does not use RAM. The only significant thing that you might want to disable on most of the OS's that NOOBs installs (it is not a practical OS all by itself, but the image includes Raspbian) is the GUI login if you are going to use the pi headless (i.e., without a graphical desktop).

Beyond that, as a famous computer scientist once wrote: "Premature optimization is the root of all evil"...make sure you understand what you are doing before you start ripping pieces out.

  • You should be sure what the OP meant by "unused" before jumping to this conclusion. Any software that is running will use RAM even if the user isn't interacting with it and all of the programs that track program activity will also use more ram due to tracking the operation of such "unused" programs. Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 20:45
  • @jbarker2160 You're right, I took "unused" to mean "not running". I'll stand by the assertion though, that sans the GUI there is not that much to be concerned about in terms of the default. A pi running Raspbian headless out of the box will consume a baseline 25-30 MB of userspace. The stuff in the background is managed by init and easy enough to check into if you want, but I would not do that simply out of a concern with RAM usage because it isn't going to get you anything...
    – goldilocks
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 20:54
  • ...Whether you actually want those things doing what they do is another question, but my point about "premature optimization" is that using RAM use as a witch hunt criteria here is a probably a bad move.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 20:54

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